Today was the second day of media availability and with that came a press conference with Coach Bob Bradley and star midfielder Landon Donovan.
I’ll do my best to capture as much of the Bob Bradley presser as I can without just giving you the entire transcript. I’ll probably post some stuff from Donovan tomorrow before the game.
What struck me today was it seemed Bradley was more communicative regarding the team than maybe he’s seemed in the past. He was more at ease and even talked tactics and joked when a reporter compared tomorrow’s friendly to spring training baseball in the sense of trying to see more prospects and chemistry than getting wins. “U.S.-Argentina and spring break baseball...” Got a good laugh, but then provided a great answer to the question.
Before we jump into that press conference let me first give you guys a few links for your enjoyment this weekend/today/it’s 5:30 PM on Friday are any of you going to even be reading this?
Post fan blogger Jeff Maurer (no relation to Yankees fan Jeffrey Maier, who once caught that ball over the fence against the Orioles and obviously has no relation other than they kinda sound alike and I always picture that kid catching the ball when I see Maurer’s links and blogs) has a couple previews up today.
His first is a United preview in which he opens by comparing the emergence of United last weekend to the hope that came for SNL fans when Will Ferrell first caught our attention.
The other is his preview of USA-Argentina in which he enlightens us with a scouting report of Messi: “I hear he’s kinda good.” Let’s hope the U.S. coaching staff reads the scouting report.
Actual stuff from the press conferences after the jump...
Highlights from Bob Bradley’s press conference.
On playing teams like Argentina, Brazil and Spain in friendlies:
I think we’ve benefitted greatly in the last four years from playing against top teams. We’ve learned about ourselves, we’ve put things through the test and I think it really helped us grow and improve. So we plan on continuing to do that. Any time those teams come here it makes it extra special because fans, soccer fans in the U.S. love to see the top teams, the top players, and you get a real sense they appreciate when we now test ourselves against these kinds of teams. We feel good about it and it’s nice to know that we constantly hear from our fans that this is something they love. So hopefully we can continue to do it.
On Timothy Chandler and the impression he’s made this week (I think he’ll get some solid minutes in these two friendlies):
Athletic player, has a simple way with the ball that [he] has shown from the right side of the field whether it’s at right back or right midfielder the ability to play good balls forward or see options inside and to slip good balls into the midfielders. And now it’s just a matter ofseeing him in some games. Within the group he’s still quiet but his english is pretty good and I think he’s done well this week.
On how to use the young players:
There is always tough decisions when you’re now sizing up guys that you pick the right time. On one hand, dont wait too long. So we feel good that even in some of the limited opportunities these players have had so far they’ve shown well. I think over the course of these two games we’ll get a good opportunity to see more. Obv iously I’m stopping short of giving a lineup for tomorrow because it’s still part of our thinking to say, [with] two games do we throw a guy in right away and see what it’s like? Or do we use the first game where he can be perhaps a reserve, see how it goes, and then use that to move into the Paraguay game? We still have decisions to make but in the course of these two games we’re trying to move some of these young players a step or two further so that it gives us information that we can use as we put our roster together for a Gold Cup.
I’ll get more to you guys tomorrow pregame. Until next time.